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The problem with third way policies

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, October 6th, 2012 - 93 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: ,

Let me be clear right now. Feeding hungry kids at school is a GOOD THING. That said, it’s a band-aid to deal with one of the symptoms of poverty, low wages, unemployment, and general structural inequity while you fix these bigger problems. If you don’t do that then it just becomes another classic third-way policy.

So when David Shearer announced it I was surprised that it wasn’t picked up by National. After all it represents a small outlay of taxpayers’ money and would deliver National a much needed PR reprieve. As I commented at the time:

The nat’s political nous seems to have deserted them this year. They could have just pinched the food in schools policy and run with it. It costs bugger all and would’ve made them look a) like they were able to act in a bipartisan manner b) have seemed like they cared (and helped shore up the female vote) and c) taken the (albeit limited) wind out of Labour’s sails on the issue. It’s exactly the kind of thing Key would have done a year ago

It seems the leader’s office has finally cottoned on to this with the Herald reporting increased funding to food in schools programmes is being considered:

[Bill English] said he was “quite open” to considering a national food strategy for low-decile schools as proposed by an expert group appointed by Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills.

I certainly hope they implement this strategy.

What’s interesting about this, however, is the fact that since Labour’s announcement they’ve done sod all to highlight and own their own policy. The result has been that the policy of food in schools is now seen as one driven by John Campbell (and kudos to him – he’s done a superb job) and the children’s commissioner. In the Herald article Labour and David Shearer aren’t mentioned even once.

The context of the issue is barely touched on either. In fact Bill English manages to partially shift it toward the right-wing “personal responsibility” frame of government having to pick up where irresponsible parents fail (as an aside, I’ve noticed an increased use of this distorted version of the social contract argument turning up a lot – and not always from the mouths of (blue) tories).

While I’ll be immensely pleased if the government makes sure the kids get fed, we’ve lost the opportunity to have an hugely significant discussion about why they are hungry in the first place.

That’s the problem with third way policies.

93 comments on “The problem with third way policies”

  1. My first response to the Herald announcement was that they really need to get Dotcom off the front page!

    My second was surprise that Bennett had not been dragged out to do some more bene bashing.

    But I agree they could own the poverty issue by bashing and then adopting Labour policy and showing a bit of kindness. It would give Labour no where to go on the issue.

    Unless as you say the real causes of poverty then become part of the discussion.

  2. ianmac 2

    Every kid getting fed and getting full health treatment is the bipartisan norm in schools in Finland.

    • Reagan Cline 2.1

      Finland is less ethnically diverse than NZ.

      I assume that means it is easier to get bipartisan agreement on social policy.

      There are two large groups of people with obviously different cultural and historical beliefs living in NZ. I don’t accept that the same social, educational and health policies will apply well to both.

      There needs to be discussion towards reforming the NZ state into a federation that recognises the two groups and each group legislates for their own people on social, educational and health and shares responsibility for defense and foreign policy.

      It will be important to foster mutual respect and to accept that on the deepest level we are one people because we are human beings and share the same country and the seas and climate.

      There must never be a system that could be perverted towards oppression of one group by the other and civil war.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Finland has had a large influx of immigrants. Decades ago they had a largely monoculture. Not so now. Yet the Education system caters for them all in a Universal Needs based way. Listen to Pasi Sahlberg when he comes on Kim Hill’s Replay radio. Then adjust your ideas Reagan.

    • David C 2.2

      So lets be like Finland with nuke energy and slash and burn forestry?

  3. What’s interesting about this, however, is the fact that since Labour’s announcement they’ve done sod all to highlight and own their own policy.”

    It was Labours policy?

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/23-Tory-charity-gaffe-cold-and-out-of-touch.html

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      You’ll note the difference between Labour’s policy and that of the businesses. One comes with a government guarantee, the other is voluntary and can be taken away just as easily as it was given. One will reach all schools while the other will only reach some.

      So, yeah, calling it ‘Tory charity’ is exactly what it was. You’ll note that it didn’t have anything to do with National either – it just had National complaining that a Labour MP called it for what it was/is.

      • This wasn’t the right kind of food in schools program so fuck that. Better kids go hungry than have the ‘tory’s’ provide it.

        • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1

          “You’ll note the difference between Labour’s policy and that of the businesses. One comes with a government guarantee, the other is voluntary and can be taken away just as easily as it was given”

          Firstly the government is just as able as any business to taketh away what it giveth. You naivety in the benevolence of government is astounding. Secondly “One will reach all schools while the other will only reach some.” It isn’t schools in Remuera being targeted here. Finally, it was that awful business man, Owen Glenn, who donated $80M to help fight poverty this year.

          Look at yourself Draco. I’m a cynic but you take cynicism to so far as to be ideological blindness.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            you mean the frustrated monte carlo diplomat who offered the electorate that money if national got reelected has donated $80mil?
                 
            Partial repayment of a proffered bribe, as far as I’m concerned. And offset by the millions if not billions lost in the continued tax cuts for key, glenn and their mates.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah fuck that, what a dick. $80M? Pffft, what an asshat.

              • McFlock

                You really don’t know the difference between private charity doing a half-assed job of throwing a few crumbs to the peasants, and a government running a long-term nationally-coordinated programme to alleviate poverty for all, do you. 

                • You’re right, he shouldn’t have even bothered.

                  • McFlock

                    No, if you offer a bribe you should pay it – otherwise that’s adding fraud to the bribery mark on your character.
                       
                    What he should have done was shut the fuck up in the first place. And, if he truly gave a shit about poverty rather than baubles and honours, still donated the money.

                    • I’m going back to my Pink Floyd now. Shine on McFlock, shine on you crazy polished piece of glass.

                    • Jokerman

                      Oh Contrari-wise (yes that was me at my friends),
                      “Where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone? in your bed,
                      Tell me the thoughts that surround you…”

                    • The gold road’s sure a long road
                      Winds on through the hills for fifteen days
                      The pack on my back is aching
                      The straps seem to cut me like a knife

                    • Jokerman

                      an it’s 2-4-6-8 Motorway, me and my radio (in my head) truckin on thru the night…:)

              • Um TC source please. I am aware of links suggesting he will donate $100 mil but there was no time limit. This would no doubt be spread over many years.

                Besides if he paid tax on what he has he would be paying a significant amount each year.

                If Glenn invested his (say) business interests in NZ, had a 6% return and paid 30% of this in tax he would be contributing $18 million a year in tax. It would not take long for that amount to exceed his purported generosity which I am sure has a tax break attached.

                Ordinary people pay their tax and do not get cudos. Why should the rich be different?

            • higherstandard 3.1.1.1.1.2

              I’ll think you’ll find that Owen Glenn has put more into NZ than he has ever got back in terms of decreases in tax paid.

              No doubt you would be fawning over him if he was still in the red team.

              • McFlock

                I think you’ll find that he was quite happy to do his little bit to make life worse for the poor of this country by supporting nact simply out of envy at being denied a diplomatic bauble. 
                       
                 

                • Wow, you’re not a bitter old cunt at all.

                  Donated $80M? Fuck ‘im! He voted National.

                  What a sad old piece of shit you are.

                  • McFlock

                    balancing the benefit of his donation against the cost of his offering the bribe in the first place. 
                         
                    If the reality of his actions makes me sound bitter, then that’s down to his actions. If someone steals $100 and puts $20 of it in the food bank, he still shouldn’t have nicked the $100 in the first place, even though that means the food bank would be down $20.

                    • So if Owen Glenns $80M is like $20 to $100 then you are accusing Glenn of ‘stealing’ $400M.

                    • McFlock

                      No, it was an illustrative example. I think the main motivating factor for glenn’s [what I think of as a] ‘bribe’ was simple pique at being denied a bauble. He’s probably not used to not getting what he wants, and packed a paddy. Rich people can throw expansive tantrums.
                           
                      Of course, the cost to the country (and benefit to the 0.05%) of continued nact rule would be in the billions. But whether glenn himself ended up quids in from the deal, I don’t think he cares.

                    • “Rich people can throw expansive tantrums.”

                      So you think Glenn gave $80M to charity because he was having a wobbly? Wow, wish he was here so I could make him angry. I’d run around him with a bucket while he threw money in the air with rage.

                      “Of course, the cost to the country (and benefit to the 0.05%) of continued nact rule would be in the billions.”

                      So Owen Glenn is responsible National’s policies? Didn’t see his name on the ballot.

                    • McFlock

                      Given the election was so close between national needing MP approval vs having act/dunne rubber stamps, it’s perfectly plausible that the offer he made on a prime time tv show weeks from the election might have nudged the polls just a touch. Otherwise he wouldn’t have made the offer.
                          
                      Hell, either the argument is that he made the offer of $100mil (if national and act with the 2011 election) with no resulting effect on the election while at the same time not being prepared to spend tens of millions on a wobbly; or the two events are part of one and the same deal. 
                           

                    • Wish I could just make up my own assertions about peoples motives and relay them as fact.

                      Your talking out your ass McFlock. Cynicism about Glenn’s does not a fact make. Your just making it up based upon nothing more than “That’s what I think”

                    • McFlock

                      Is it a fact that he used to support labour and discontinued that support after the monte carlo BS?  
                         
                      Is it a fact that he offered to spend $100mil on youth and poverty if NACT won the election?
                           
                      Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?
                              
                      Fuck, rewatch that interview where he made the bribe (sorry, “conditional offer”). He expresses his motives pretty clearly.
                           

                    • McFlock, fact remains, the guy pledge $80M to poverty causes and you, as distinct from those charities he worked with, are saying “Fuck it, I don’t like him. Fuck his money”

                      What horrific cynicism from a bitter old prick. Think outside your narrow preconceptions, old man.

                      “Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?”

                      Errrr, this WAS after the election:
                      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/owen-glenn-commits-80-million-family-violence-4973756

                    • McFlock

                      Yep, fuck him and fuck his money. 
                             
                      Fuck the government that refuses to do the job he is barely approaching looking at with that money.
                         
                      Fuck the media that refuses to call it what it is: payment of a bribe.
                         
                      Fuck tories like you that support tory charity in place of a government that works for all people, not just the rich.
                         
                      And fuck the horse you rode in on, too.  

                    • “Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?”

                      YES:
                      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/owen-glenn-commits-80-million-family-violence-4973756

                      But all you have done is just rage impotently

                      “Fuck the government that refuses to do the job he is barely approaching looking at with that money.”

                      Yep, fuck the government…which has nothing to do with Owen Glenn..

                      “Fuck the media that refuses to call it what it is: payment of a bribe.”

                      Bribe? You mean the money he pledged in July 2012

                      “Fuck tories like you that support tory charity in place of a government that works for all people, not just the rich.”

                      No you are just being an obstinate angry old man. GET OFF MY LAWN!
                      Sad. Particularly as you are using ‘tory’ as a pejorative towards me who isn’t even a Tory yet because I disagree with your wild ravings I must be.

                      Sad, sad, bitter old man

                    • McFlock

                      “Bribe? You mean the money he pledged in July 2012”
                           
                      You should work in a petrol station forecourt: everybody being so nice to you, giving you money all day. Nothing to do with what they were doing at the pumps earlier. Yes, “bribe”, as in the spending he flagged prior to the election, conditional on a particular election result.
                             
                      And if the government has nothing to do with owen glenn, why did he announce that his pre-election off was conditional on which government was elected if not to influence the outcome in some small way?    
                              
                      “rage”
                      You wish. Just like you wish you weren’t a tory. And yet you always seem to be arguing their corner.

                    • “as in the spending he flagged prior to the election, conditional on a particular election result.”

                      Citation needed.

                      “And if the government has nothing to do with owen glenn, why did he announce that his pre-election off was conditional on which government was elected if not to influence the outcome in some small way? ”

                      Citation needed

                      “You wish. Just like you wish you weren’t a tory. And yet you always seem to be arguing their corner.”

                      Arguing against the gibberish that falls out off McFlocks mouth =/= supporting NACT. I am extremely disappointed with National. But National being wrong in no way makes McFLock right.

                      But come one big fella, tell me again how Owen Glenn put aside $80M before the election in 2011, kept it to himself until 2012 then paid it to a charity all while calling our rates of poverty a ‘national shame’ all to swing an election.

                      Sad, sad, old man McFlock
                      Tried to make a point but he went half cocked
                      Now he rages and spews with bile
                      all because he lacks youth and guile

                    • McFlock

                      Citation needed.

                      The last 2 minutes of the interview I linked to here, you doofus. Or is that too vague for you?
                       

                      Citation needed.

                      Same one as above.
                       

                      Arguing against the gibberish that falls out off McFlocks mouth =/= supporting NACT.

                      Sometimes. But when you desperately claim that a promise made conditional upon an electoral outcome, followed by that promise being fulfilled after the outcome occurs, in no way counts as a bribe – well, it’s pretty fucking close.
                         
                       Watch the last two minutes of the interview. 

                    • I’ll have to do it tomorrow (I have no readily available source of sound right now).

                      But I will, I can promise you that. Then we can talk further.

                      Poor old McFlock, such an angry old man

                    • Without utilising sound it is a real shame that text shows he was going to donate it no matter who won, some days later:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10749644

                      “Entrepreneur and philanthropist Owen Glenn says his commitment to donate $100 million to New Zealand youth is not contingent on National and Act winning the November 26 general election.”

                      Better luck next time

                    • McFlock

                      Seriously?
                           
                      “nanananana can’t hear what he said, nananana here’s a back-pedal a few days later”.
                           
                      The dude made an explicit offer on condition of a nact govt. Watch the vid.

                    • I actually couldn’t hear it at the time but whatever. The sort of blind, accusatory assertions you throw down about others has become the norm from you now so I am not surprised a bitter swine like yourself would resort to such a thing.

                      “the dude made an explicit offer on condition of a nact govt”

                      And then recanted and stated otherwise mere days later with:

                      “Entrepreneur and philanthropist Owen Glenn says his commitment to donate $100 million to New Zealand youth is not contingent on National and Act winning the November 26 general election.”

                      Then he made the donation (which isn’t his first donation to a cause, regardless of politics) and you still sit and claim, I assume straight faced, that he did it all to swing an election? Even though it was quite publicised days later that it didn’t matter who won he would do it any.
                      Seems a strange way to swing an election, no?

                      Face it, your bitter because he threw his lot in with National. If he had said otherwise, if he was a Labour supporter we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Because you don’t care about someones actions, only that they agree with you. Otherwise, fuck ’em.

                      Sad, man, sad.

                      Poor McFlock,
                      An unfortunate cock.
                      Replete with hate
                      scared of his fate

                    • felix

                      I put it to you that once such an offer is made, it’s made.

                      You can’t just un-say things, and trying doesn’t change the fact that he did it, and it doesn’t mean that the message he sent didn’t affect anyone’s decision.

                      Looked to me like he backpedaled because people were accusing him of trying to buy our democratic process.

                      That’s all just my subjective reading of it though, and I don’t claim to know his mind. I do have a serious question for you though: If you don’t believe that he tried to influence the election (or he did it accidentally or whatever) then what does “he threw his lot in with National” mean?

                    • “You can’t just un-say things, and trying doesn’t change the fact that he did it, and it doesn’t mean that the message he sent didn’t affect anyone’s decision.”

                      Well, because we are adults and we aren’t on a playground then yes, you can clarify, back-track, amplify and adjust your statements and if you are going to take someone as read on an initial statement then it stands to reason you should take them as read on their second because all we have to go on is the mans words and anything outside of that is speculation. If you want to be cynical about then do so but it it would be your own assertion and as such does not stand to scrutiny.

                      “If you don’t believe that he tried to influence the election (or he did it accidentally or whatever) then what does “he threw his lot in with National” mean?”

                      Firstly I would add I think it is arrogant to believe that NZ voters are so stupid as to be bought by the promises of Owen Glenn, particularly, as you say he ‘backtracked’ quite publicly.
                      ““he threw his lot in with National” mean?” He publicly supported them is what I mean. If he publicly supported a left wing cause I doubt we’d be having this conversation and it illustrates the negation of action and judging someone purely by political opinion.

                    • McFlock

                      So if I, say, said to a cop “I am prepared to give you $50 but only if you do not give me a ticket”, and then “clarified” or “amplified” in the station that the offer of $50 was in no way contingent on said ticket not being issued, in your ideal legal system that’s perfectly okay.
                         
                      Good to know.
                              
                       

                    • felix

                      “Firstly I would add I think it is arrogant to believe that NZ voters are so stupid as to be bought by the promises of Owen Glenn, particularly, as you say he ‘backtracked’ quite publicly.”

                      Then don’t say it. I didn’t. I said he tried it on – which he definitely factually absolutely did.

                      You don’t dispute that part, do you?

                      Because that part is a yes or no question – and as we have video of him saying it, the answer is yes he did. You could speculate on whether he was joking, having a brain seizure, or any number of other things but it would only be your assertion and as such won’t stand up to scrutiny, right?

                      All we have to go on are his words, after all. Right?

                      “He publicly supported them is what I mean.”

                      I guess you mean some other time then. I wasn’t aware he had made much of publicly supporting them apart from the offer of money if they were elected.

                    • I think we should all meet for a beer and hash this out.

                      “and as we have video of him saying it, the answer is yes he did. You could speculate on whether he was joking, having a brain seizure, or any number of other things but it would only be your assertion and as such won’t stand up to scrutiny, right?”

                      Yes but we have a later statement of clarification.

                      “I guess you mean some other time then. I wasn’t aware he had made much of publicly supporting them”

                      Apart from when he did.

                      But this is hopeless. Completely hopeless. Another 24 hour conversation where no one wins, I say ‘fuck this” and McFLock and Felix run away to the coop to proclaim victory because opponent resigned in frustration. Go for it.

                    • felix

                      “Yes but we have a later statement of clarification.”

                      No, we have a later statement saying the opposite of the first one. Hardly a clarification.

                      But regardless of him changing his mind (or whatever), are you denying that he made the offer or not?

                      And can you point to this other public support for National that you’ve mentioned twice now or not?

                      ps “no one wins, I say ‘fuck this” and McFLock and Felix run away to the coop to proclaim victory because opponent resigned in frustration.”

                      lolz, when you can’t answer your opponent’s charges, someone has won. You just have trouble admitting when you can’t answer.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                           
                      It’s just been fun watching you bend over backwards to defend what tory charity really is: the payment of a small bribe to keep enough peasants happy with the status quo that change doesn’t happen. 

                    • “lolz, when you can’t answer your opponent’s charges, someone has won. ”

                      Well done on your victory. You and McFlock have truly vanquished your opponents.

                      Toast to your victory with your home made liquors. I have been bested by the learned alphas of the standard.

                    • felix

                      Yeah but best not make a big thing of it.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            Firstly the government is just as able as any business to taketh away what it giveth.

            No it’s not. It’s constrained, to some degree, by public opinion.

            You naivety in the benevolence of government is astounding.

            I’m highly sceptical of government – there was that conversation we had a while back about it being an elected dictatorship.

            It isn’t schools in Remuera being targeted here.

            And the charity run by businesses won’t reach all the schools that need it. There will be some, possibly the most needy, that miss out. Another option being that the schools won’t get enough or a combination of the two.

            Charity shows up the existence of failure within society but it cannot address that failure nor will it be able to raise enough to cover what’s needed in the sphere that it’s staked as it’s own.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.2.1

              “I’m highly sceptical of government”

              Funny, you seem to always argue for greater government involvement.

              “No it’s not. It’s constrained, to some degree, by public opinion.”

              That notwithstanding, what one government giveth the next can taketh away. Whether or not charity is a systemic failure is not what is at discussion. You repudiation of National at offering something while labour scoffed at it is also astounding.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Funny, you seem to always argue for greater government involvement.

                Actually, I tend to advocate for more democracy.

                You repudiation of National at offering something while labour scoffed at it is also astounding.

                Go back and re-read the link you provided – you’ll find that National didn’t offer anything.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.2.2

              Pffft, fucking tory charity

              • mike e

                In the side bar of that article Contra the super cynic(UF fence sitter in drag)it says that NZ employers are finding it virtually impossible to attract the right talent as they have gone overseas! brighter future!

  4. Dr Terry 4

    Though encouraged by Bill English words, the reason for the possible change in attitude is because public pressure has become strong on the issue and no longer to be dismissed. It is not a matter of National suddenly changing its spots to show “kindness”. English could not sound more grudging about it, and reverts to type by blaming parents who reside in poverty for not feeding their kids.

    However, we must be thankful these days for the slightest improvement in government attitude.

    • The Woodpecker 4.1

      I wonder how much Campbell live had to do with this? Kind of like Fair Go companys seem to come around when they get bad press.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 4.1.1

        One thing is absolutely crystal clear: if it were left up to Bill English it wouldn’t be happening. On the other hand, if we took the purse strings off Bill English and gave them to someone competent it mightn’t need to be happening in the first place.

        The OP makes a very valid point – charity is a poor substitute for good policy.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          The OP makes a very valid point – charity is a poor substitute for good policy.

          QFT

          If society was being run for the benefit of everyone rather than just a few we wouldn’t need charity.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Yeah, loved the quote from the Hearld, which now appears to be softened. In the original I read this morning Bill English came across as a real prick saying something like they look at feeding children who’s parents refused to take responsiblity. Could have been my sleep deprived brain but I swear the one now there is written differently to the one I read.

    The more polished version is below.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838730

    • Sleep deprivation is an evil thing, I met a guy in Aus that hadn’t slept for 20years.
      I myself have times when I can’t sleep for weeks.
      But it’s much better these days, since I kicked them witches in the head?
      Need a hand AsleepWhileWalking ?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      You’re right, they have changed the way they are quoting him, and it does soften the quote>

      Fuller version of the quote can be seen in this excellent post:

      http://t.co/hjhB8C9m

      “There’s no doubt that there are kids in homes where there is not a strong sense of responsibility. It’s the obligation of the rest of us to do something about that.”

  6. deuto 6

    I wonder whether Bill English has told Key?

  7. Ad 7

    Why did Labour’s leader Shearer launch an easy and populist policy 2 years out from an election?

    And anyone surprised National nicked it and dominates the biggest newspaper today and not even mention Labour’s almost identical policy launched only 21 days previously?

    Can Shearer still not see Key is at his weakest ever and all he has to do is keep attacking, attack like a pit bull in a meat truck rip out his guts and feed his political bones to the pigs?

    Who the hell is running the strategic plays in the Leader’s office when they can’t even figure out the basic difference between attack and defend?

    • QoT 7.1

      If Labour had made any kind of decent response to this I might be tempted to suspect some actual strategy was going on – i.e. announce policies which it’s really easy for the Nats to pick up, then spend the next 2 years appearing on Campbell Live on a weekly basis to say “Well, you can see, John, the Government continues to borrow our policies, but we’re okay with that because it means kids aren’t going hungry.”

      But … apparently not.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Clearly there’s no Malcolm Tucker in there calling the plays, or we wouldn’t have the sight of the wretched hypocrisy of some Labour MP’s experimenting with cheap publicity on the poverty income diet while being able to pop back every day to their taxpayer subsidised flats and Parliamentary gym like clueless Congolese aid workers.

        The only redeeming feature out of this week is child poverty will stay on the news cycle as a distinct kind of story, all the way to the election.

        I would have thought Shearer, with his globally renowned expertise in poverty alleviation, would have more deft management over such a sensitive policy area than is being demonstrated.

        But … As you say QoT

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          I would have thought Shearer, with his globally renowned expertise in poverty alleviation,

          Last time I looked poverty throughout the world was getting worse. This would indicate that Shearer doesn’t have that much expertise in reducing poverty. Probably has a lot organising getting resources, for money raised as aid and charity, from rich nations and giving it to poor countries though.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1

            that’s a bit low – like arguing that because people die in house fires and traffic crashes, fire-fighters don’t have much experience in saving lives.
             

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.1

              My point was that he’s got experience in BaU but has NFI how to actually address the problems caused by BaU.

          • Jokerman 7.1.1.1.2

            Third Way? No Way.(procrastination)

    • The Woodpecker 7.2

      Phil Goff offered a non partisan idea to Shonkey during the debates and David Shearer after he became leader. Both times Shonkey dismissed it. But now with pressure from where-ever English has relented.

  8. Shame that feeding hungry children at schools has only just arisen under Nats – could have thought that this may have been going on for some years before Nats got elected.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      That’s about all we’ll ever agree on.

    • Criag Glen Eden 8.2

      Well Im sure there were kids who didnt get breakfast when Labour was in power, but National have not implemented any policy to address the issue. If National was concerned about child poverty before they came into power they have had four long years to do some thing about it but have done nothing. National have of coarse spent four long years blaming Labour for all sorts of thing s but again have not resolved the issues like for example the brain drain to Aussie and Children going hungry
      While many posters here at the Standard have always known that National had no policy to to take NZ forward, a lot of National voters are now also finding out that the Prime Minister is a deceitful liar who’s only excuse is he has amnesia at the wheel. You cant blame Labour for the current levels of Child poverty Fortran at some time National and those who voted for it, have to take some personal responsibility for the shit National have created.

  9. Steve Wrathall 9

    Great, more spending money we don’t have, in order to do for people what they should be doing themselves. The ratchet effect will of course drive other parties to promise to extend this to decile 2…3…any advance?

    • Dv 9.1

      >>Great, more spending money we don’t have, in order to do for people what they should be doing themselves.

      Lets see.

      SCF, 1 Billion
      Corporate welfare to polluters
      Corporate welfare to hollywood
      1 Billion a year tax breaks

      60m on Nat std that tell us nothing we didn’t know before

      $8000 on a new wall for Grocer?

      For starters Steve.

      • David C 9.1.1

        or you could talk about Cullens trainset.
        $6 billion sofar? and its no where near over.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Rail rocks.

          Rail is a key infrastructure that NZ was built on. Its fuel efficiency and ability to transport loads far more effectively with far less subsidies than road will be a boon for NZ in an oil depleting future.

        • mike e 9.1.1.2

          Silly Wanker Economic stimulus acshually helps in recessions!
          And unlike SCF it has a long term benefit!
          Rail infrastructure had been neglected for 60 years so we are playing catch up idiot!
          Rail is carrying more tonnage than ever before putting that back on the roads would stuff our economy god you RWNJ’s can’t see beyond the ends of your noses!
          Scientific Research proves that conservatives supporters look for simplistic answers don’t look to far into the future are emotionally aloof more likely male and suffer from mild autism!
          Which backs up the short term thinking!

  10. tracey 10

    Interestingly the only public opinion they are not following is the asset sales sentiment?

  11. lefty 11

    No mention of Mana but one of their key election slogans was ‘Feed The Kids’.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      I prefer “make sure people can feed their kids”.

      • David C 11.1.1

        and its 22 cents to feed your kid porridge for brekky?
        you could go flash and feed em weetbix for 40 cents!

        • tracey 11.1.1.1

          Where can you buy weetbix ibdividually. If you belueve that most parents of those kids struggling for food are irresponsible then you need to take a break from your life and visit some whose lives are nothing like yours.

        • Rhinocrates 11.1.1.2

          And that will feed them for one day. And the next? And the day after, and the next week, and the next month and continually?

          Hell, why worry about Weetbix, let them eat cake, right?

          Oh let me guess, it all gets wasted on beer and pokies, right? It’s all the fault of those strawmen parents, right? Of course it is. Phew, thank insertdeityhere for that, because then we’d have to care about the children instead of finding someone to hate, which is so much easier.

  12. “That’s great news for the kids but gives the government the chance to brush the question of why they were hungry in the first place under the carpet.”

    Right, I get it – so kids weren’t hungry before National came in power?
    Yes you can argue it has gotten worse under National – and I’d agree it has. But this quote is straight dishonesty. It suggests it was never a problem before and National are to blame in totality.
    Which is untrue.

    • Rhinocrates 12.1

      Oh, blame, so easy, isn’t it? It’s a problem, but right, it’s not that National government’s fault. They didn’t start it.

      OK, now get this: they may not have caused it but they’re in a position to stop it if they wanted to.

      So why aren’t they making it their priority?

      OK, so Labour won’t stop it, can’t stop it and is useless. That’s right. They’re useless, and aren’t in a position to do so anyway. They’re useless arseholes and Shearer can’t find enough mango rinds. We know that.

      However, why won’t the National government stop it when they’re in a position to do so? Enlighten us.

      Or is it that the only thing that matters to you is to “prove” that critics of the National government aren’t the saints that those paragons of realism and common sense are?

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  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago